As much as parents love cheering their kids on from the sidelines during their big games, there is still a worry about sports injuries. Unfortunately, no one can predict a sports injury, however, certain injuries are common to all school athletic activities. Knowing them can help minimize the risk.
School sports have a long list of benefits for children involved. But there are some known risks, with sports injuries being number one. Did you know that school-aged children are injured in sports at about the same rate as professional athletes? Well, this is true. About 3.5 million children and teens are injured each year in sports.
Learn the most common school sports injuries and how to minimize the risk of youth athlete injuries.
Most Common School Sports Injuries
Sprain, Strains, and Fractures
A sprain is an injury that affects the tissue that connects bones. A strain is an injury to a muscle or tissue that connects the muscle to bone. And a fracture is where the actual bone breaks—partially or completely. These are the most common injuries seen in youth sports. Most kids hear a “pop” sound when the injury occurs and see swelling and bruising. These injuries vary in severity. Some sprains and strains can be treated at home with rest and ice or over-the-counter medication from your pharmacist. Fractures tend to be more severe, requiring expert medical care, like an X-ray or even a cast for proper healing and prescription pain medication.
Head and Neck
Head and neck injuries can be some of the most disastrous injuries for athletes. They are common in high-contact sports. The injuries may be a concussion or any mild traumatic brain or nerve impact. Your child may complain of neck pain, dizziness, radiating body pain, tenderness, and much more. Head and neck injuries must be diagnosed by an expert medical professional to ensure no further damage and the correct treatment and recovery plan is initiated.
The growth plate is the area of cartilage on bones that are still developing and hardening. Your child may have trouble moving their body at the site of injury or change the way they bend their limbs. When a child fractures their growth plate, the bones’ natural development can be disturbed and, if not treated properly, can lead to deformity.
School sports can be demanding. Most sports require using the same muscles or bones during practice and games, just at different intensities. Repetitive movement of the same muscles, bones, tendons, and other body parts can lead to fatigue and injury. Your youth athlete may consistently complain about pain, limp, or show other signs of injury. It’s important to seek an expert medical opinion to rule out a severe injury before you choose rest as the answer.
Prevent School Sports Injuries
- It is pertinent to wear the required sports equipment, including the correct shoes. These regulated items are meant to protect the body from known areas of injury in each sport.
- Warming up and cooling down is important before any sports-related activity.
- Look for signs of pain in your child and have them looked at by an expert if they’re experiencing any pain, as an internal injury can be hard to self-diagnose.
- If recovering from an injury, do not allow your youth athlete to return before being cleared by a medical professional.
The Importance of Accurate Treatment & Care
Kids are tough and resilient, but they are still physically developing. You should not delay having your child checked out for any sport-related injury, even if they seem fine. Symptoms may not present immediately, or at all, but can have quick, severe consequences. Immediate, expert, and accurate attention is key to keeping them healthy and strong.
East Valley ER & Hospital goes beyond the basics of the traditional emergency room. Our comprehensive care provides the highest quality in emergency services and advanced and accurate treatment in our state-of-the-art facility with onsite imaging and an in-house laboratory that has your youth athlete back in the game quicker. Our treatment goes beyond just care in our facility with a complete plan for a successful recovery. Open 24/7, our expert team of physicians is available to provide care at any time for any injury.
Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, East Valley ER & Hospital and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.